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Inc.: Steps to Avoid Triggering Impostor Syndrome Among Employees

07 Mar 2022
Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you.

Originally found at Inc. by Angelica S. Gutierrez.

Confucius' spin on the Golden Rule, "Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you," aptly applies to triggering impostor syndrome among your employees.

Described as a fusion of feelings of inadequacy and a fear that others will discover that one does not belong in the position that one occupies, impostor syndrome is an experience with which many people, including entrepreneurs, can relate. But how may entrepreneurs inadvertently trigger impostor syndrome among employees? There are some ways you can increase your employees' confidence, sense of belonging, and avoid making them feel like impostors.

Impostor syndrome is often described in the popular press as a "me" issue, as suggested by the oft-promoted strategies of building one's self-esteem and reciting positive affirmations to counter its effects. The possibility that environments may be triggering impostor feelings is not often entertained. The productivity of your employees, however, may be impacted not by impostor syndrome, but rather by their impostorization. Impostorization is the term I use to refer to the policies, practices, and seemingly innocuous interactions in environments that either make or intend to make individuals question their intelligence, competence, and sense of belonging.

Continue reading the original article at Inc.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal.

Read the accompanying Academy of Management Insights summary.

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